So, what with buying 2 tomatoes, and finding a volunteer in my balcony pot, I was already assured of tomatoes. I mean, surely?
But then as I was planting, I cut off the bottom shoots so I could bury it nice and deep. And well – there they were – excellent cuttings.
So I planted one cutting of each of the bought seedling and had to actively talk myself out of planting all of them. It’s insurance. You never know what could happen, you know. It’s best to just take out a bit of insurance. And now I have back ups of the two main tomatoes.
Also I have 5 tomato plants and I’m a single person living alone with two cats, who are obligate carnivores. I honestly don’t know what I am going to do if all of them thrive. Perhaps someone at work will want a late seedling… Or maybe I could do two plants to a pot. But I don’t like to stress my babies.
I’m going to the bait shop this afternoon to buy some worms to put in the pots. Because tomatoes deserve worm friends. I’ve crushed up all the dried up plants from last year and I’m going to put that on top of the soil as a feed for the worms. Although the soil is pretty rich – so I think they are likely to be OK, in any case.
I spent many years in an apartment without any outdoor access and when I moved here there was a marvelous south facing balcony. And I immediately started a tomato. It grew like a marvel but had terribly disappointing tomatoes. Just slightly bigger than a cherry. They were OK tasting. But just not quite anything size wise.
The following year – a friend gave me one of her seedlings and it got a fungus and was generally not producing anything due to the disease.
The next year I fell into a mental health hole and my cats chewed my seedlings to bits and I just didn’t have a tomato. It was a sad year.
So this year I bought seedlings online from Laurel’s Heirloom Tomatoes. She has a 4 plant minimum so I bought 4 and gave 2 to a friend as a housewarming present. They arrived yesterday.
It’s all VERY exciting.
I know what you are thinking – what does one person need with two tomato plants. But it’s OK. They are different tomatoes. One is Green Zebra and one is Paul Robeson. So. Don’t judge.
Anyway – today I started to clean out the pot that I grow tomatoes in. And there was a damn volunteer!
So now I’m going to be growing 3 tomato plants, which I admit, is perhaps a bit much for one person. But I can share. Everyone loves tomatoes. It’s a pandemic, dammit. Tomatoes are the only good thing a person can look forward to, you know. I’m just saying.
The real question is – where I am going to put the third one? There’s one good spot for sun on the balcony because it’s a covered balcony. There’s a second reasonably good spot and everything else is basically very bright partial shade. It’s a dilemma. It’s gonna take up some of my thinker space to figure it out.
I consider my volunteer to be an excellent omen. It’s going to be a very good crop of tomatoes.
The tomato has been planted in it’s ginormous pot. Pot has been placed on it’s stand. I have sustained a life threatening injury, that seemed minor in the whole accomplishment.
I cut myself. There was not a knife within 20 yards of me, but I managed it on wire. Rusty wire. I expect to die by the end of the week. But the tomato is outside in it’s home.
Flowers have been purchased. I spent too much by going to a small local landscaping company that had a small selection of expensive flowers. But all of them were in great shape and since I don’t really have a ton of space to fill, it really wasn’t outrageously expensive. But key to the experience – NO CROWD.
Next Year: All plants with the exception of the tomato will be purchased in the pot they will live the rest of their life in.
No more repotting.
I dumped a nearly done planted pot on the ground, probably killing both plants in it. It obviously needed to be repotted again. I like putting things directly into the ground. You can’t drop the ground. Just saying. I miss the ground.
I ruined a beloved t-shirt, possibly for even longer than til I wash it next. Which won’t be today because instead of laundry I did balcony gardening. Shut up. Multi-tasking is a loser’s game.
I had a total of 6 plants to pot. SIX. In 4 pots. And I made a mess that rivals people with gardens that cover acres. And I still have to clean it up!! grrrrrr.
Also. It’s not pretty.
More accurately, it’s not as pretty as I magically thought it would be since I did not put any pre-thought into it and it shows. Planning. It’s so simple and generally enjoyable. I’m not sure why I didn’t indulge in it.
Next year will be different.
I’m seriously considering throwing away every damn thing but the tomato, although it’s what I cut myself on. And I still haven’t netted it.
Remember when I was excited to balcony garden??!! I used to enjoy this. I don’t know what happened.
My little tomatoes have raised their little heads through the soil. They are Money Makers seeds that I got from a friend.
But I’m very unsure about them. I think they are going to be a bit small. It is very tempting to start a beefsteak. But that is
- a. too many tomatoes.
- b. too much room.
I only have the balcony. And the balcony only has so much sun. And the best spot for the tomato only has room for one plant. So.
I had been thinking I would have an entirely edible balcony garden this year. No flowers. But then I remembered the damn squirrel.
There is a squirrel that lives on this apartment building. He runs up the sides of the building like it’s a sidewalk. He hangs out on balcony and on the window sills. He ate a couple of tomatoes last year until I finally figured out a cage system that worked.
But I don’t think I could do that the whole balcony. So I think I will sadly give up my brainstorm of a fabulous kitchen garden on the balcony.
It begins today! Well – I’m going to plant a few seeds today.
It’s going to be a bit of a test because with the new cats I don’t know how the seedlings will fare. Hopefully better than they did with the Much Missed Lily – who killed a lot of plants before I figured out how to get around her.
It’s probably a slight bit early to start. But… I want to have tomatoes as soon as possible.
My friend at work shared her tomato seeds with me. They are MoneyMaker tomatoes. We are hoping for bigger tomatoes than Box Car Willie, who was such a disappointment last year. All his tomatoes were just barely bigger than cherry sized. But he did produce until freeze, so that was encouraging as far as confirming the location the tomato is on the balcony.
I’m worried about the sizing of these Moneymakers though. They say 7-8 oz. A beefsteak is 14 to 24 oz. I don’t want as big as beefsteak but 7oz seems a bit small? Boxcar Willie was supposed to produce 10 to 16 oz. Which seems more like what I want. I think 7 oz might be small. gaaah.
Well. They are what I have. I guess I could poke a couple in some dirt and ponder more. Its such a commitment without knowledge of end results. It makes me crazy.
I’m considering replacing all the flower pots with edibles. It’s won’t be pretty and this is very much a problem in my brain. I’ll have to think on it. It would be nice to have a salad garden though.
This is how the balcony looked last summer. The big pot in the corner is the tomato. I had hoped to have peppers and zucchini last year, but Lily defeated me. This year I could make all the flower pots be salad greens. And cement planter could have french carrots. And the big pot on the ground could have peppers or a zucchini.
The balcony faces south, HOWEVER, the building blocks morning light because it sticks out farther than the balcony. So it basically only gets afternoon sun. And most of that is only on the edges because of the roof combined with the brick balcony. So if something requires full sun – it has to sit where those blue flower pots are. Even then, there is a difference in light; as you get closer to the tomato, you get more sun.
I think I’m going to try it anyway. It might inspire me to eat better. 🙂 But today I’m mostly just worried about tomatoes.
EDITED TO ADD: We now have answers on how the new cats will treat the plants. I was tentatively hopeful because they seemed to be ignoring the succulent I put on the window sill 3 weeks ago. But a few minutes ago I had to clean up this. That cat in the foreground is looking super smug. Just saying.